President Donald Trump made up facts during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a negotiation tactic over the future of the NAFTA agreement, he admitted to a group of donors late Wednesday.
“Trudeau came to see me. He’s a good guy, Justin…No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please,” he regaled the donors, according to audio obtained by The Washington Post.
‘Donald, we have no trade deficit.’ He’s very proud because everybody else, you know, we’re getting killed. “ … So, he’s proud. I said, ‘Wrong, Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know. … I had no idea. I just said, ‘You’re wrong.’ You know why? Because we’re so stupid. … And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You’re wrong, Justin.’ He said, ‘Nope, we have no trade deficit.’ I said, ‘Well, in that case, I feel differently,’ I said, ‘but I don’t believe it.’
Trump then admitted that he sent an aide to go and check on what the actual status of the trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada is. The aide came back and relayed:
‘Well, sir, you’re actually right. We have no deficit, but that doesn’t include energy and timber. … And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.’ It’s incredible.”
Trump reacted to the leaking of his phone call and admission in a Thursday morning tweet accusing Trudeau of mimicking his tactics.
We do have a Trade Deficit with Canada, as we do with almost all countries (some of them massive). P.M. Justin Trudeau of Canada, a very good guy, doesn’t like saying that Canada has a Surplus vs. the U.S.(negotiating), but they do…they almost all do…and that’s how I know!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018